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Hello, fellow CT Birders!
The Seventh Annual Mega Bowl of CT and New Haven County is next Saturday!
WHO: Any birder in CT can participate, either individually or as a member of a team. Team size should range from 1-5 birders. Ideal is 2-4.
WHAT: MEGA BOWL VII: an all-day birding extravaganza where you and your teammates go out in the area of your choice and observe as many bird species as you can. You work off a checklist (either coastal or inland) wherein you are awarded points for every species you see. The rarer the bird, the more points you get. The woodpeckers offer a good example of the point system. They are as follows: Downy Woodpecker: 1 pt., Hairy Woodpecker: 2 pts., Pileated Woodpecker: 3 pts., Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: 4 pts., Red-headed Woodpecker: 5 pts., and any woodpecker not previously seen during the Mega Bowl: 7 points!
WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 2023 from 6 am to 5 pm. The compilation zoom meeting will take place on Sunday, February 5, 2023 from 5 to 6:30 pm. (Before the pandemic, we met in person. We decided it would not be safe to do so again this year. Hopefully, we will bring back the in-person compilation and awards dinner next year.)
WHERE: You decide! The preferred option is to bird within a circle with a 5-mile radius that includes your place of residence. Your home can lie anywhere within the circle and teams can decide which member’s residence they want to include in the circle. OR: you can bird within any County or Town in CT! Be aware that a circle with a 5-mile radius is still a lot of territory: it encompasses 78.5 square miles!
WHY: To celebrate birds, birders and birding in CT! And, to generate donations to the CT environmental or birding organization of your choice. Last year, we donated more than $550 as a result of CT birders’ efforts in Mega Bowl VI. Organizations that received donations from us included: A Place Called Hope, Bent-of-the-River Audubon Sanctuary, Boyd Woods Sanctuary, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, CT Audubon Society, DEEP Endangered Species and Wildlife Fund, Environmental Learning Center of CT in Bristol, Mattabeseck Audubon Society, New Haven Bird Club, Roaring Brook Nature Center, Save the Sound, Sharon Audubon Center and the Woodbridge Land Trust. You bird, we donate! Teams that achieve the highest point totals (for county, circle and town; coastal and inland) will be recognized. The CT Young Birders Club team has achieved the highest county totals in each of the first six years of the challenge!
HOW: Put together a team and register it with me (see contact info below). Make a fun name for your team (e.g., the team that I go out with is called the Winter Wrenegades!). Or, if you want to join another team, contact me and I will do my best to create a team for you or add you to an existing team. Please register by Wednesday, February 1, 2023. In response to your registration, I will email you a copy of the checklist for your selected area. Circles, Counties and Towns that border salt water will get a coastal checklist. All others will get an inland checklist. Birders bird on the honor system: take care to accurately identify all of the birds that you observe (heard only is acceptable if it is a distinctive call) and be sure that at least ½ of your team members have observed the bird. Send your list to me by email at the end of the day on Saturday, February 4 and let me know what organization you would like the donation to be made to in your name.
Let’s make MEGA BOWL VII a great success! Have fun birding with family or friends. See great birds. Watch your efforts translate into a donation to the organization of your choice!
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